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Orchid Farm Stall on the N4
The Orchid Farm Stall Breakfast has visitors coming back again and again.
ORCHID FARM STALL
On the N4 close to Nelspruit
EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: 082 452 2348
Many people say mostly nasty things about South African roads, and they’re mostly wrong. Sanral keeps SA’s N and R routes in good shape. One particularly beautiful road is the N4 which links Botswana to Mozambique – with a bit of help from two concessionaires, of course.
As you come swooping into the Lowveld along the Crocodile River, you are faced with a choice: through Nelspruit or around Nelspruit?
None of the above. Pull up short, stop at the Orchid Farm Stall and think about the choice some more.
Robby Stevenson and his wife Urna started Orchid Farm Stall 11 years ago selling produce grown in the surrounding rural areas.
“My great grandfather’s family hail from Stirling, Scotland and he moved to the Lowveld from the Eastern Cape. My mother’s side of the family farmed near Chrissiesmeer and this farm was part of the winter grazing farm which they purchased in 1867,” says Robby who spent most of his career in corporate logistics and farming macadamias part-time.
“My mother started an orchid collection 40 years ago,” continues Robby “and that led to a retail shop”.
When the N4 was built it split the family farm and now Robby’s sister runs the commercial orchid business, while the retail section is situated at the Farm Stall. Demand for orchids has become so great that they have to import orchids from the East to satisfy their customers.
“Apart from orchids the nursery also offers cycads and aloes,” says Robby “we found that during Covid a new interest arose in indoor plants and pots”
On the non-horticultural side, there are clothing and décor items.
Coffee shop and deli
There’s a coffee shop that serves light meals, there’s a deli supplying jams, pickles, and preserves, a function room that is ideal for kitchen teas, and an unlicensed restaurant. The Orchid Farm Stall Breakfast has visitors coming back again and again. It consists of two slices of ciabatta with avo, two pork sausages, and two poached eggs topped with feta and macadamia dukkah. Yum!
Long-term plans include providing accommodation in the form of glamping tents. Glamping is short for glamourous camping, which is for those who love the idea of camping but hate the hassle of narrow stretchers, insects, and distant ablution blocks.
Robby is taciturn about climate change. “I’m not denying it, but I’m not a campaigner either. Climate is cyclical. We’ve just come out of a cold and wet summer, and in 2022 we’re experiencing a very mild winter.” For those living elsewhere, every Lowveld winter seems mild.
“When Joubert Roux popped in out of the blue one day and proposed a partnership with Zero Carbon Charge I immediately thought this is a really good option.” says Robby “We were planning to install a solar system to make us less dependent on Eskom, so it’s a perfect fit”
There is a dedicated off-ramp into Orchid Farm Stall giving EV drivers a safe exit and re-entry to the proposed recharged station.
Which EV will you buy?
Robby is equally taciturn about which EV he’ll buy. “I suppose a Tesla” he muses “because we recently found out my mother is a distant cousin of Elon Musk. But not close enough to inherit anything …”
Next time you’re driving to Mozambique or heading back from Kruger National Park, stop in at Orchid Farm Stall, have a cup of Illy coffee and say hi to a relative of the richest man in the world.